Re-Opening of Tavern on the Green
Hinata Ramen 159 E.55th St. b/t 3rd & Lexington Ave | 212-355-2974
I read on Twitter that Chef Michael Anthony from Gramercy Tavern visited Hinata Ramen a few months ago. I hadn’t heard of this ramen shop until then. So, I decided to come here for lunch. Hinata Ramen opened last November in Midtown East. I often eat ramen for lunch. There are many choices of ramen shops around my office in Midtown such as Hide-chan, Totto, Ippudo West, and a few more places. Today I found a new edition to add to my ramen lunch options. Chef Anthony mentioned this place’s noodle and that it was somehow related to Ippudo. So I was even more curious about this place!! I was also interested in tasting their broth. Most popular ramen shops often serve pork based broth, but Hinata specializes in chicken broth ramen.
I started my lunch with gyoza and pork bum to share. I didn’t much care for either appetizer, but it was good and decent enough. I sat at the front counter seat so that I could see the action in the kitchen behind the glass window. (It does not have an open kitchen.) I ordered the Original Hinata Paitan Ramen and my friend ordered the Aburi Niku Miso Ramen which is limited to 10 bowls per day. Both ramen were very good.
My favorite is Shoyu Tonkostuu (soy based and pork based mixed.) Compared to pork based this was much lighter and cleaner. Definitely refreshing.
It was also great to meet the owner, Chef Madoka Tamura. I was a little shocked to see a young Japanese lady. I guess I always imagine a ramen shop owner to be a man. Like I said, Hinata’s ramen is very clean and elegant. This made perfect sense once I met her. She was lovely. I asked her about her background. She said this is her first restaurant and she taught herself how to make ramen. I’m the owner of Cutie Room, but having a boutique and running a restaurant are two different things. I was very impressed. I love seeing Japanese women doing their thing in NYC!
I eat at most ramen shops more than twice before giving a rating. So, at this time I can’t give a proper rating yet. I am definitely going back for lunch again soon. Stay tuned for an update!
Sushi Nakazawa 23 Commerce Street, NYC (212)-924-2212 I finally made it to Sushi Nakazawa!! This patrolling was definitely the most exciting patrolling ever. Especially since it’s still hard to get a reservation at Sushi Nakazawa. Actually, it’s the most exciting patrolling ever since I started my Cutie Patroller blog!!! You can believe the hype about Nakawaza. I am not over exaggerating. Sometimes you get disappointed when you have high expectations, but my experience at Nakazawa was so much more than I expected. Super friendly Chef Daisuke Nakazawa explained each nigiri to us in English and Japanese. Chef Nakazawa kindly answered any questions I had with smile. Also, how cute is it that he uses a mini iPad to show pictures of fish and explain each nigiri to the counter guests? This is definitely a new way of “OMOTENASHI” (the heart of Japanese hospitality) and I’m loving it!! We had 20 pieces of sushi Omakase. Plus one extra in the end. All of the sushi pieces were incredible. Traditional, yet each piece had a cute twist. When I had salmon it was full of wara-smoke flavor. The red snapper had Kinkan zest. One of my favorite nigiri was Akagai. Since I’m mini clam which Mirugai, Agarai, Aoyagi, and Awabi are my absolute favorite sushi so when the chef told me he had Akagai I was so excited!! It was the best Akagai I ever had between NY and Japan.
Akagai ( Red calm ) 赤貝Akagai ( Red calm ) 赤貝 We didn’t mention to the chef that we were from Tabelog until after dinner and he said he always uses Tabelog when he is in Japan. We exchanged business cards, of course. I’m so excited to send him my blog post and my many thanks, too.